12 JUL 2018
Sami Ali is a placement surveyor at Siglion, an innovative development partnership set up between Sunderland City Council and Igloo Regeneration to carry out a 20-year regeneration programme that will transform the city.
She tells us more about her journey into surveying and her role working on one of the city’s largest ever regeneration projects to create new jobs and new places to work, live and relax.
I am currently studying an undergraduate degree in Real Estate (BSc Hons) at Northumbria University. I came across this exciting opportunity with Siglion when I decided to do a sandwich year at the end of year two. I have lived in Sunderland all of my life and to be a part of the city’s major regeneration programme has been very rewarding and one of my proudest achievements to date. My role at Siglion involves many aspects of asset management and an insight into planning and development. For my Assessment of Professional Competence (APC) this year, I chose the commercial pathway and through my work with Siglion, I have completed rent reviews, lease renewals and property inspections.
This year, I have mostly enjoyed learning and gaining an insight into how land and property is a valuable asset. I have also been given first-hand experience into the development of The Beam – a 60,000 sq ft office building – on the old Vaux Brewery site and into finding an alternative use for a redundant Grade II Listed building. I have also helped arrange and carry out property viewings which have led to successful lettings, which was fantastic. This included effectively communicating with prospective tenants, negotiating and agreeing terms and producing heads of terms. Being able to do this independently and with support from my colleagues has given me a huge confidence boost.
During my A level studies I developed an interest in the built environment while studying Human Geography. I was particularly interested in how buildings worked for different sectors and the wider impact it had on the local economy and community, and more importantly that it was more than just selling a property. I chose a career in surveying so I could learn more about the fundamentals of real estate and the different property markets around the globe.
My plan for the future is to become a chartered surveyor; I also hope to gain wider knowledge of planning and development. In the short term, I hope to gain employment in the North East to complete my APC, as my placement year at Siglion has contributed towards one year.
Surveying is for everyone – you get to meet and work with people from different professions and backgrounds. So, my advice would be to go for it. If you are unsure, try and get some work experience, which is invaluable and a real eye opener into the industry.